What energy meter is right for my manufacturing business?
For any manufacturing business in the UK, energy consumption is a critical aspect of operations. As such, energy bills can be a significant overhead cost that businesses need to manage. The right energy meter can help businesses monitor and manage their energy usage, save energy, and reduce costs. In this guide, we’ll explore the different types of energy meters available to UK businesses, and help you choose the right one for your needs.
Types of Business Energy Meters
Businesses in the UK can choose from different types of energy meters, depending on their energy consumption needs.
The most common types of meters include:
Smart Meters: Smart meters are the latest type of energy meter and have been rolled out across the UK by energy suppliers. These meters allow businesses to monitor their energy usage in real-time, making it easier to manage their energy consumption. The meter sends automatic meter readings to your energy supplier, eliminating the need for manual readings.
Half-Hourly Meters: For businesses that use a lot of electricity, half-hourly meters provide accurate meter readings every half hour. This type of meter is a legal requirement for businesses with a maximum demand of 100kW or more.
Two-Rate Meters: This type of meter allows businesses to benefit from smart tariffs that provide different rates of electricity during different times of the day. This is ideal for businesses that have a flexible energy consumption pattern.
Manual Meters: Manual meters require businesses to submit regular meter readings to their energy supplier. This can be time-consuming and prone to errors.
Choosing the Right Type of Meter for a Manufacturing Business
The type of meter you choose will depend upon how much energy your business uses, and the needs of your business.
However, for manufacturing businesses that use a lot of electricity, smart meters are the best option. Businesses that require accurate meter readings every half hour will need a half-hourly meter.
Smart Meters: These meters are capable of measuring energy consumption in real-time and can provide detailed insights into energy usage patterns. Smart meters can be especially useful for manufacturing businesses that require a high level of control over energy consumption.
Sub-Metering: This involves installing additional meters to measure energy usage in specific areas of a facility, such as individual machines or production lines. Sub-metering can help identify areas of high energy usage and pinpoint opportunities for energy savings.
Interval Meters: These meters measure energy usage at regular intervals, typically every 15 or 30 minutes. Interval meters can provide detailed data on energy usage patterns over time and can help identify areas for energy efficiency improvements.
Energy Monitoring Software: This is a software system that integrates with energy meters to provide real-time monitoring and analysis of energy consumption data. Energy monitoring software can help identify opportunities for energy savings and track progress towards energy efficiency goals.
Benefits of Smart Meters
Smart meters offer several benefits to businesses. These include:
Accurate Meter Readings: Smart meters provide accurate meter readings, eliminating the need for manual readings.
Real-time Monitoring: Smart meters allow businesses to monitor their energy usage in real-time, making it easier to manage their energy consumption.
Automatic Meter Readings: Smart meters automatically send meter readings to your energy supplier, eliminating the need for manual readings.
Save Energy: Smart meters help businesses identify areas where they can save energy, reducing costs.
What is the Meter Installation Process?
Businesses in the UK can install energy meters through their energy supplier or a meter operator. Energy suppliers are required to install meters free of charge, although businesses may need to pay for any necessary upgrades to their electrical infrastructure. Meter operators can also install energy meters, but businesses will need to pay for their services.
To install a new electricity meter, businesses will need to provide their Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN) to their energy supplier or meter operator. This is a unique identifier for your business’s electricity supply. For gas meters, businesses will need to provide their Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN).
Energy experts can help businesses choose the right type of meter and manage their energy usage effectively. They can also help businesses switch energy suppliers or compare business electricity tariffs to find the best deal.
For a Smart Meter
The smart meter installation process can vary depending on the country, utility company, and type of smart meter being installed. However, here is a general overview of what to expect during the installation process:
Notification: You will receive a notification from your utility company letting you know that they will be installing a smart meter at your location. They may also provide information about the benefits of smart meters and what to expect during the installation process.
Schedule Installation: You will need to schedule a date and time for the installation to take place. The utility company will typically provide a range of dates and times for you to choose from.
Pre-Installation: Prior to the installation, you may need to do some preparation work, such as clearing access to your meter and ensuring that your pets are safely contained.
Installation: On the day of the installation, a technician from the utility company will arrive at your location to install the smart meter. The installation process typically takes around one to two hours.
Testing: Once the smart meter has been installed, the technician will test it to ensure that it is functioning properly and accurately measuring your energy usage.
Demonstration: The technician may provide a demonstration of how the smart meter works and how to access your energy usage data.
Completion: Once the installation and testing are complete, the technician will provide you with a completion certificate and may ask for your feedback on the installation process.
How much energy do manufacturing businesses usually use?
Manufacturing businesses tend to be some of the heaviest energy consumers.
According to the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in 2019, the industrial sector, which includes manufacturing, consumed about 17% of the total energy consumed in the UK. This energy was used for a range of purposes, including powering machinery, heating and cooling buildings, and running lighting systems.
Many UK manufacturing businesses are taking steps to reduce their energy consumption and improve energy efficiency. This can involve measures such as upgrading equipment and machinery, improving insulation and weatherization, and incorporating renewable energy sources like wind and solar power into their operations.